Thumbs up...to the city of Richmond for not charging a parking fee to this year's Fourth of the July celebration. Richmond City Commissioner Mike Brewer noted that he didn't like the fee because he felt like the city was charging the citizens to celebrate the holiday. Parks Board Vice Chair Dan McBride said he had heard several city employees express their hope for the fee's retraction, noting that maintaining a bank and keeping change throughout the celebration was a lot of work and extra running. He added without the fee, volunteers could better focus their efforts elsewhere. While we understand the fee helps to recoup costs to put on the event, it can be difficult to enforce and puts a burden on volunteers. We hope this brings more people to Richmond to celebrate our nation's birthday and spend money at our local businesses.

Thumbs up...to the Richmond Teen Center for recently getting some much need renovations. The center, which opened nearly 20 years ago as a community center for the Boys and Girls Club, received a new basketball goal, fresh paint, baseboards, countertops, shelves, bathrooms, chairs and decorations making it appear brand new. "Everything is different, everything is brand new," Georgia Parks, the director of the teen center, said. Leadership Madison County, Daniel Ellis Foundation, the Parks & Recreation board, Hall's Richmond Paint Center and Josh Barrett along with others came together to make the transformation happen. Numerous kids will now benefit from the renovations in a safe place. This project shows what happens when the community comes together.

Thumbs down...to a recent study showing nearly 1 in 5 older Kentuckians are food insecure. The report, Hunger Among Adults, shows Kentucky's food insecurity rate among adults age 50-59 was 18.6% while the national rate was 11.3%. The data are from 2017, the most recent year for which data are available. Another report shows Kentucky's 8.4% food insecurity rate for seniors age 60 or older was also higher than the national average of 7.7 percent in 2017. "Too many older adults and senior citizens in Kentucky are struggling to put food on table after decades of hard work," said Feeding Kentucky Executive Director Tamara Sandberg. When seniors struggle with food insecurity, they face tough decisions such as paying for food or medicine or even rent. As Sandberg said, we really must do more to ensure that the golden years are truly golden for every Kentuckian.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Agree or disagree with the above or one of our columnists? Then send us a Letter to the Editor. Email editor@richmondregister. com and include your name, town and phone number. Must be 300 words or less. Your phone number will only be used to verify the letter.

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